Diversity, Discrimination, and Performance

Institute of Industrial Relations Working Paper No. iirwps-091-03

42 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2003

See all articles by Jonathan S. Leonard

Jonathan S. Leonard

University of California, Berkeley - Finance Group; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David I. Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Date Written: January 10, 2003

Abstract

Employee diversity may affect business performance both as a result of customer discrimination and as a result of how members of a group work with each other in teams. We test for both channels with data from more than 800 retail stores employing over 70,000 individuals, matched to Census data on the demographics of the community. We find little payoff to matching employee demographics to those of potential customers except when the customers do not speak English. Diversity of race or gender within the workplace does not predict sales or sales growth, although age diversity predicts low sales.

Keywords: dversity, performance, discrimination, race, gender, employee demographics, census, workplace, teams

JEL Classification: J11, J15, J14, J7, L81

Suggested Citation

Leonard, Jonathan S. and Levine, David Ian, Diversity, Discrimination, and Performance (January 10, 2003). Institute of Industrial Relations Working Paper No. iirwps-091-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420564 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.420564

Jonathan S. Leonard (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Finance Group ( email )

Haas School of Business
545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-7048 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Ian Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1697 (Phone)
510-643-1420 (Fax)

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